Will Chatham is the Security Assessment Engineer for Arbor Networks. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. He started as a web developer, moved into Linux system administration, and ultimately found his place as a security professional. Having most recently conquered the OSCP certification, Will continues to hack his way into various things in an effort to make them more secure.

Hosed

So every sports writer, fan, and opponent thinks the Louisville Cardinals got utterly hosed in the NCAA Tournament seedings. They got a number 4 seed after having THE best resume of any team since January. Look at this:

  • They won their regular season conference
  • They won the conference tournament
  • They won 18 of their last 19 games
  • They were 8-2 against teams in the tourney
  • They played better on the road, defeated Marquette twice, Memphis twice, Cincy twice, and Charlotte twice. Oh, and won at Florida.
  • They ended with a better record than many of the teams placed ahead of them (29-4)

What gives??? The only consoling factor is that they are in the easiest bracket and have been picked by many, including myself, to be in the Final Four. In fact, I have them facing Duke in the championship game.

If you want to join our Yahoo Tourney Pick ‘Em, just let me know. You can check out out group’s members and picks if you want.

Oracle

I’m in Oracle Application Server 10g administration training all this week. The AF brought in an Oracle person to teach us how to use the software since that’s what we will be developing the new site on. We have two more weeks coming up soon. So far, I have learned a good bit of cool stuff.

A large part of the training has related to using the Apache web server, which unfortunately in Oracle AS 10g is version 1.3 instead of 2.0. I am realizing that much of what this expensive piece of software does is simply make it easier to edit Apache configuration files. They just present you with a nice GUI interface in which you can change config settings, add virtual hosts, and restart the httpd service.

I’m sure there will be a lot more to it than that though. I learned a lot about mod_rewrite today, which I have used in the past in a limited capacity. It helps me a lot to learn in a classroom setting though, and I now understand it much better than ever before. Being able to ask questions and get things explained in various ways if need be helps a lot.

This is a link to the learning track we are on. Note the URL in the address bar once you are there. Wonder why they don’t use mod_rewrite to clean that up?

Hopefully, once the training sessions are complete, Oracle will offer the 10g Web Administrator certification. Right now it’s still only offered in 9i.

Link Goodness

Allrighty, how about a little linkitudinal updatage going on here?

First, for those of you in the Asheville area, I have for you perhaps the best online weather info available. Current NCDC Weather Conditions provides you with current data from atop the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville. There are also links to regional radar maps (loopable) and lots of other cool weather geek info. I have an inside track on this sort of thing these days, which makes me even geekier. I know you are jealous.

Montage-A-Google is a neat way of creating photo montages by searching with Google Images.

If the news that Microsoft is finally releasing an update to its bug-ridden, non-compliant, piece of doo security threat called Internet Explorer (for XP users only, mind you) isn’t enough to make you crumple over with a hernia from laughing, check out their “A parent’s primer to computer slang” article.

Key points for learning leetspeek

  • Numbers are often used as letters

40w 08|?10U$, M@N.

And about the Internet Explorer thing, it’s not really a new version of the browser, it’s a service pack. Looks like they are feeling a wee bit threatened by someone.

In case you didn’t know, you can opt out of a lot of credit card junk mail. It’s your legal right, so do it.

Lastly, for those of you who need to surf the Internet in style, I give you Pimpzilla the bling-bling Firefox theme.

Pics and Stuff

I have resurrected the image gallery portion of this site. Woohoo! Lots of pictures for all 4 visitors to look at. Check out Will’s Ye Olde Photo Gallery.

At first I installed Gallery to manage the photos. I tried Gallery out about 3 years ago and wasn’t that impressed. Since then it seems to have made a lot of progress. It installs easily and seems to be rather easy to manage. However, there is one big problem with it that bugged me: it’s not Web Standards compliant. The features offered in Gallery were almost enough to allow me to ignore this, but in the end, my morals took over and I ditched it for something better.

Enter Simple PHP Gallery, which you might have seen used on this site before. This program too has made leaps and bounds of progress since I last used it. It was so easy to install (upload and go), I thought I was launching rubber frogs from a Turkish catapult. No, I don’t know what that means either.

Granted, Simple PHP Gallery doesn’t have quite as many features as Gallery. However, it makes up for that in other ways. Not only does it validate as XHTML Strict, it was pretty easy to integrate into my site’s existing design. This was not true of the program last time I tried it, nor is it true of Gallery.

Additionally, Simple PHP Gallery has a much smaller footprint on the server in both speed and size. Taking advantage of PHP’s GD Library, it creates thumbnails and resizes images on the fly. Oh, did I mention it validates as XHTML Strict???

Anyway, keep an eye on Will’s Ye Olde Photo Gallery for lots of kewl stuff. I just uploaded the first batch of pics from my new Nokia 3620 camera phone, and am impressed with the resolution for a free phone. There are also some new pics from my Olympus C5050 and my Sony Handycam.

Geez, this took forever to say all this stuff. I gotta stop this stream-of-conscience writing thing.